The power recently went out in my garage. When I went to the garage and flipped on the light, there was a small spark from within the switch box (where the wires enter the garage) and then no power. Note that my garage was built in 1950, and the wiring is a bit scabby. The garage breaker is a 15A that is in a sub-panel in my basement.
I opened up the wall, and the wiring is brought in and split in two branches: one to the outside receptacle, and one to the lights + a receptacle.
The hot is connected to 3 other wires (via wire nut), one to the light switch, one in parallel to the lighting (or receptacle...I'm not too sure), and one to the out door receptacle.
The Neutral is connected to 2 other wires (via a wire nut), one to the lighting and one to the out door receptacle.
The ground is grounded directly to the light switch body.
I have found that there is correct voltage between the hot and the Neutral only when: 1) There is no load on the out door receptacle 2) The lighting Neutral is not in contact with the garage service neutral
Basically, the voltage is only correct if the entrance Neutral has no load on it from either branch. When there is a load, the voltage goes to zero.
Does anybody know what's going on?